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About bptakoma

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  • Birthday October 15

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    Takoma Park, MD
  1. You could also: Print whatever font you wish Make a stencil Shellac onto your greenware Wash away the surrounding clay, leaving the letters in relief
  2. OK, I live in Takoma Park. Quirky and groovy here. Cost of living is high in the DC area. But the museums are free. And there a higher concentration of people with advanced degrees here than anywhere else in the US. From my research, Glen Echo Pottery in Maryland has the best combination of cost-effective class costs and generous open studio time, short of having your own studio. That's if you're into cone 10 reduction firing. Lots of other options out there around the area. Plenty of places around if you're into woodfiring too. Frederick MD has great resources related to Hood College. Baltimore has Baltimore Clayworks and Clayworks Supplies Inc. I second whomever it was that said beware your commute. But then again, don't resign yourself to living in a soulless stripmall suburb. There are tons of vibrant communities around here with a sense of place and community. You will pay a premium to live within walking distance of the metro. Hope it all works out! Beth bptakoma
  3. You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean up the mold if you don't want to use bleach. Vinegar won't hurt the clay either. I totally understand your hesitation to stick your hand in the moldy bag! You don't have to suffer through that. Instead, open up a few sheets of newspaper. Upend the bag of clay on the newspaper and peel off the bag. Then use a cutting wire to slice off the exterior of the clay block. The inside of the block won't be nearly as bad. Put the inner block in a new bag -- or an old one without mold residue. I usually pitch the ooky bag because clay bags are easy enough to recycle and I usually have several around. I will sometimes just put on gloves and wedge the mold into the icky bits and use it right away or make a slab from it. Or I'll let them dry out and save them to add to the next batch of homemade paper clay. I do usually add just a little hydrogen peroxide when I mix up paperclay to help it keep just a bit longer. Good luck, Beth
  4. How nice to hear from Takoma Park, Maryland! I used to live not far from there before relocating to dead center of the nation (which really is quite lively as it turns out). I hope Takoma Park still has its enclaves of quirkiness. Years ago I recall driving one short stretch of road that designated that neighborhood a "nuclear free zone." I used to chuckle then, and I am again, while typing this. Takoma Park is an interesting place. Good points all. I like your suggestion for carving masters in regular clay, and then press molding paper clay tiles. QUESTION: Can you point me in the direction of information on "durable plaster" - not structural, but perhaps something that might be durable to the extent that softwood moldings, door and window casings, etc are? Thanks, Tom Tom, If you want plaster, research architectural ornamentation plasters, like Hydrocal. Here's a link to get you started. http://www.gypsumsolutions.com/ We are still running quirky and strong in Takoma Park. And yes, still nuclear free. Actually, that doesn't mean you can't have a nuclear family, or get an xray, or transport nuclear weapons through the town. What it does mean is the city cannot by products from companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. My town is big on following it's principles! The effect is they have to get a waiver from the nuclear free advisory board (or some such) to buy a GE lightbulb for city hall. There have been suggestions on going gas-powered lawn mower free and meat free. Perhaps not in the near future. I still enjoy living somewhere where I feel like a solid moderate. Oh, and the city is excellent with plowing the roads in winter time. It's the only place I've ever lived that I can say that about. Cheers, Beth
  5. Tom, Regarding carving tiles...You could make masters in regular clay (non-paper) and cast plaster molds from those for making paperclay tiles. Really, you could make masters in plasticine, or wood, or whatever. That gets you away from worrying about sintering prior to carving. Have to watch out for undercuts if you go that way. 7 foot span in one ceramic piece is a major stretch. Perhaps better to cast those in concrete or learn stone carving! There are varieties of plaster that are pretty durable if you're looking at decorative, but not structural.
  6. Cover the plaster surface with canvas -- that's the easiest immediate solution.
  7. Paperclay is a combination of your regular clay and some paper fiber. I think celluclay is more of a papermache type product. Not the same thing.
  8. Paper clay! Make your armature out of bone dry paper clay supports. Leave it in. fire it in place.
  9. Anthony, Isn't this a great forum. I've been watching your work through flickr for ages. So -- speed or force drying. I've put items in my (gas) oven on low when I want them to dry faster. Always under 200 degrees F. Am I missing certain risks with this? It's worked pretty well on small slabs so far. I've done it with larger, thicker pieces. Then it's important to take things out and cover in plastic to equalize moisture when edges are drying too quickly. Cheers, Beth bptakoma
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